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8:15 – Opening the gallery.  Unlock file cabinets, vacuum, etc.  Get ready for customers coming in at 8:30, Monday-Sunday (yes, I usually work Saturdays)

9:00 – Meet with a new artist who is consigning his work with the gallery.  Fill out a receipt for the artwork.  Take the measurements and note the medium, look at details on the canvas and frame.  Ask for pricing from the gallery directors (retail and net).  Fill out a consignment agreement, create painting labels and wall tags and make an inventory card.  Add the paintings to the ArtSystems database.  Put the painting out to be hung.

11:00 – A new bronze edition comes in.  Use existing information to check it in, create tags, labels, and inventory cards, and let the sales staff know it’s checked in and ready to display.  Add to the consignment agreement and mail 2 copies to the consignor.

12:00 – One of our local jewelry artists drops off some new pieces.  He also wants to RTO (return to owner) some of his pieces from last week.  Add notes to the consignment agreement and the RTO log, measure the jewelry, create jewelry tags and either give to sales to display or LOCK IN THE FIREPROOF SAFE.  These diamond rings are worth up to $350,000 a piece.  I’m either running away with them to Mexico or keeping them safely locked up.

2:00 – Go through old Christie’s and Sotheby’s catalogs to see examples of work we own or similar work by the artists in the gallery that has been sold at auction.

3:00 – Browse the library for information on painter Eric Sloane.  Take notes on style and works held in the gallery.  Check for possible provenance information that can be added to the records.  Look on the ArtNet and AskArt databases to see more examples of Sloane’s work and auction/sale history.

4:30 – Write a net reduction agreement as requested by the Director of Sales.  Mail to the consignor to agree to take less of the cut of the potential sale of the artwork.

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I am finally able to take a breath after a crazy few weeks of getting over the learning curve of a new job, finishing school and moving.  I have moved now 3 different times this summer.  I am ready to be settled – at least for more than a few weeks at a time. 

It hasn’t quite sunk in that I am now officially a LIBRARIAN.  I am tempted to make business cards just to have an excuse to stick the MLIS after my name.  I haven’t had much chance to celebrate, but it is a relief to realize that all my efforts have finally come to fruition.  I’m excited to be part of the club.  I even broke down and joined ALA.

As my path to this point has been a meandering one, this blog will probably continue to branch out in unexpected directions.  Hopefully I will have a bit of a chance in the next few months to catch up on some reading and professional development.  I particularly want to explore some issues relating to the convergence between libraries, museums, and my new area of expertise – galleries.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the ArtSystems GalleryPro database that we use at the gallery – it’s a relational database that rivals some of the ILS systems I have worked with.  It’s really quite robust and displays images as well (similar to FileMaker Pro).  I’m looking forward to working with it some more and pondering the applications of some of its functionality for future ILS incarnations. 

I came home yesterday to a hand-written note in my mailbox asking me to come in to interview at a Santa Fe gallery. Apparently my resume had cut off the pertinent contact information other than address (stupid printer), and they pursued me all the way out to Eldorado to set up an interview. I don’t think anyone’s ever gone to such lengths to contact me. I met with the Director today at one of the biggest and most prestigious galleries in Santa Fe (the first piece that I looked at was a $750,000 Georgia O’Keeffe painting) . I was a little worried they were going to ask me about my impressions of certain contemporary artists (I know pathetically little about the contemporary art market, though that may change), but luckily it’s a gallery of mostly historical paintings and Native American pottery. So those of you who know me know I was pretty much drooling at the idea of actually being paid to work at this place. It’s basically the kind of work I’ve volunteered my time for in my various internships and research projects – researching and cataloging the art in the gallery’s inventory. They get new pieces every day, so it will be very much like working for a museum or an auction house. I was basically offered the job on the spot (contingent on salary negotiation) and accepted this afternoon.

Finally gainfully employed – I’m so excited! I went into information work (originally Museum Studies) with the lofty idea that I would combine my love of art with my love of organization, classification, and cataloging, and find a job in a museum where I could combine these things. Being a registrar has always been a dream. This is also definitely a firm step in the right direction of being an art librarian, as I will get great experience with art research. And who knows who I will meet in the Santa Fe art community? Maybe Val Kilmer will come in and buy a painting. As long as I stay involved with the professional library side of things, I would say this is the best of both worlds.

That actually wasn’t my only interview of the day – I also survived phone interview #2 for a job at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Yes, I keep moving further south from Minnesota winters for a reason, but being close to family is definitely a compelling draw. The interview went surprisingly well. Maybe I’m getting the hang of phone interviews. I got to talk about my ideas for implementing Web 2.0 concepts in academic libraries and making ILL and circ services more pertinent and useful to patrons.

Though the phone interview and all the other hoops I’ve jumped through have been good experience (I think this will all be so much easier the next time around), I am SO GLAD to be done with this process for the time being. It is no overstatement that job searching is a full time job. I have used more ink on cover letters than all the papers I wrote in college and grad school combined.